What A Difference a Week Makes! The Ups and Downs of Starting Preschool

2016-09-02-16-31-32“There’s no school tomorrow! Why not, Daddy!” my daughter inquired in a teary eyed voice Friday evening before bedtime. I asked my husband, “Did I hear what I think I heard?” He shook his head with a smirk on his face, “Yes, you did!” he said.  About a week and a half ago, Quinn told me she didn’t want to go to school and cried when her father or I dropped her off in the morning. I was so concerned and was so nervous about her developing a strong dislike for school since she missed us so much and kept asking why she had to go (even when she admitted that she had fun.)

All last week, her best friend Grover (from Sesame Street) has been accompanying her to school and spending a little time with her in the morning before the day’s activities got underway, and there’s been no tears: only smiles and stories about how the two of them had a great day. Though I do not know for certain what this week will bring, this evening, as we prepare for tomorrow, Quinn excitedly asked to “play school” and told her dad and me, “I’m going to have the best day ever at school tomorrow!” What a difference a week makes!

All the best,


Grateful to Grover: Easing the Transition of Preschool for My Little Girl

2016-09-10-19-50-55“Please, Mommy! Don’t Go!” my three year old cried out. My chest tensed up, and I could feel a tear or two welling up in my eyes as I pried my daughter’s hand off of my arm while struggling to comfort her as I left her with the teacher who was trying to console and distract her with an activity or toy as I left for work. What a difference a week makes! Quinn went from being excited the first week to adamantly voicing her dislike of being left at school by her father and me in the second week. We’ve explained how fun school is and how it’s great to meet new friends and learn from the teacher, but she is still somewhat resistant, especially considering that this is her first school experience.

Actually, she mainly cries for us not to go during the initial drop-off, and the teacher has reassured us that she is smiling, having fun and interacting with the other children for the rest of the day. So, we’ve been trying to come up with a way to help with the transition from home-life to school life in the morning.

Apparently, Quinn had the answer all along; it was me who was not receptive to the idea because I wasn’t sure if it would be acceptable by the teacher. “Can Grover please come with me, Mommy?” Quinn would ask in such a sweet yet desperate voice. I suggested that she could bring him for show and tell to which she quipped, “Mommy, Grover is my friend, not a toy. We bring toys for show and tell, not friends.”

On this past Friday, we had a talk in the car before heading into the preschool building, and she seemed to be doing okay. She asked again if Grover could come with her, and I said that he could but needed to stay in her book bag, and I’d ask the teacher if it was okay for Quinn to nap with him. Quinn was fine with this compromise, but as I hung up her book bag and little jacket, tears began to form in her eyes.

As I gave her a hug and tried to console her, the teacher saw that Quinn was visibly upset and asked, “Where’s Grover, Quinn?” I was surprised at this inquiry. How did she know about Grover? Maybe Quinn mentioned him during nap time or when they were talking about friends or toys at some point. I asked, “Is it okay that she has Grover?” The teacher smiled and nodded, “Of course, she can have Grover!” She then looked at Quinn as I handed Grover to her from the book bag, “Your friend Grover can spend a little time with you this morning, and then you’ll be able to put him away in your book bag until nap time. Okay, Quinn.” Her tears subsided, and she smiled and clung to Grover. Quinn was going to be okay. I later found out that my husband allowed Quinn to bring Grover on that Thursday but just didn’t tell me.

While some people may think children should not be permitted to have “security blankets,” such as a binkie, favorite toy or an actual favorite blanket that provides comfort, I think it is sometimes necessary to get them through a major change or transition. I am so grateful to Grover, for he has provided my daughter with some comfort during this major change, and when I picked her up, she immediately informed me, “Grover and I had a fun day at school Mommy!” Hearing her say this really made my day because it truly did upset me to see her so distraught.

All the best,


Trying on a New Pair of Shoes: The Preschool Change is Going to Take Time for Both My Little Girl & Me

Just a little under a week ago, my daughter attended school for the first time. Tuesday was great. On Wednesday, she was still excited! Then on Thursday, the inevitable happened. When I picked up my three year old, the teacher said, “Quinn was a little sad today and cried a few times asking for you and her daddy.” As I looked at my little girl’s facial expression and imagined her crying, my chest tightened, and my throat became dry. “Oh, she did!” I then turned to console my daughter while trying to be positive and asking, “How was your day, sweetie?” With a unchanged face and monotone voice, she said, “Good.”

While on the car ride home, she asked why I left her at school for so long and didn’t come for her. She was upset that I wasn’t there to watch her play and do different activities. When we got home, I emptied her lunch bag and saw that for the third time in a row she barely touched her lunch. To focus on the positive and to get her mind off of the major change, we played a little in the playroom and got dinner ready, she seemed to be fine, but right before bed she asked, “Do I have to go to school tomorrow too?” To which I asked, “Don’t you like school? School is fun!” “Yes, but you aren’t there, Mommy!” I tried to convince her that school was just for her to not only learn but to meet new friends and do different lessons and activities with the teacher.

The next morning she claimed, “My leg is bothering me, Mommy, so I can’t go to school today.” “I think you’ll be just fine,” I reassured her. When I dropped her off, I was a bit nervous wondering if she would cry or be extremely upset. It would break my heart seeing her cry, and I would have a limited amount of time to comfort her because I had to get to work to teach one of my classes. Surprisingly, she smiled when she saw the teacher and eagerly went off with her after giving me a big hug and kiss. I smiled and said, “Have a great day, honey!” She responded, “You have a great day too, Mommy!”

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked her up but prayed that she had a fun day and enjoyed herself. I arrived a little earlier so that I could see her doing an activity since she said she was upset that I did not see her doing one, and she was happy to see me but then quickly exclaimed, “Mommy, I’m not ready to go yet!” What a wonderful phrase to hear and a sharp contrast from that Thursday. I know it’s going to be tough at times walking in these new shoes of change with many ups and downs as we both continue to become accustomed to Quinn attending school, but it certainly makes the time we spend together that much more special.

All the best,


Terrific Tuesday: The First Day of Preschool

After tossing and turning, constantly waking up full of anticipation throughout the night for both my daughter and me, the first day of preschool and attending school altogether finally arrived this morning for my little girl, Quinn. Knowing that I wouldn’t be there to take her to school for her first day increased my anxiety, but she was so excited that she actually woke up extra early, and I was able to give her a big hug and kiss and tell her to have a great first day at school before I left for work.

Her dad later told me that she was very eager to go to school and gave him a big hug and kiss when he was about to leave her at the school. “See you later, Daddy” she said with a smile on her face. In the meantime, I was at work wondering how Quinn was doing, and something that rarely happens occurred when I was in my classroom teaching. My phone, though on vibrate, began ringing. My initial thought was that it was a call from the school with a concern about Quinn. It took everything in me to not immediately excuse myself and check my phone to see who was calling. It turned out that it was a telemarketer calling, and I had to reassure myself that Quinn was just fine.

Then, right after class I raced home so that I could  be nearby, if needed. My husband works from home on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but wasn’t there, and I wondered, “Did he go to the school? Is Quinn okay?” (I later found out that he was out purchasing a cake as a special treat for Quinn’s first day at school) Without alluding that I was concerned, I contacted the school while my three year old was preoccupied with eating lunch just to see how she was doing. Her teacher, with a smile in her voice, said, “Quinn is doing great! She enjoyed circle time, playing at the playground, doing an apple coloring project and having snack.” She also informed me that Quinn was happy and showed no signs of being sad or worried.

When I picked Quinn up at 3:00 pm, she was sitting patiently with other children, smiled and said, “Hi Mommy! I had a good day at school!” While tomorrow, her second day of school will more than likely be the real test, I’m so happy that Quinn made a great initial transition from being at home with her daddy and me to going to school and interacting with other children and the teachers.

Here’s to a wonderful semester and terrific school experiences for my sweet, smart girl Quinn!

All the best,


Mommy’s Monday Moments: The Night Before Preschool with My Little Girl

2016-09-05 17.52.35‘Twas the night before preschool, the day drew to an end. Quinnie was cuddling Grover, her favorite plush friend: an adaptation of the poem/story The Night Before Preschool  by Natasha Wing. Alas, we are here, and I’ve been going over my checklist, prepping my three year old for what is to be expected of her at school and going over the routine and how to do Quinn’s hair with my husband since I have early morning classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays and will be unable to drop off my daughter.

Today, we played together and did a little shopping to get some Labor Day deals on clothing and footwear. After nap, we went to the park and then baked cookies after dinner as a nice treat and a good way to relax us both at the end of the day in preparation for tomorrow.

Quinn loves books, so we have the book The Night Before Preschool to alleviate any anxiety she may be feeling so that she may have a good night’s sleep and look forward to going to school for the first time and meeting new friends tomorrow. I’m just hoping that I’ll be able to sleep through the night before my only child going off to preschool and have a great morning  and not get overly anxious thinking about how my little girl is doing on her first day.

All the best,


Off to School: One Down & One to Go!

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Having Fun in My Office Before Class

Last Monday was my first day back, and it was tough leaving my daughter on the days when we would usually be together, but thankfully, we had a transition. My three year old was able to spend time with her nana when I was teaching class and even joined me on Friday as I conducted my children’s literature class since she does not start school until this upcoming Tuesday.

I spent most of today making sure all of her belongings she will take to school have labels with her name on them, selecting and ironing her clothes for the week and packing up snacks for the both of us so that the mornings can go as smooth as possible.

In doing these tasks, the reality is definitely setting in: Quinn is a big girl now and on her way to preschool. I’m so glad that I did practically everything today so that we can just enjoy time together tomorrow on Labor Day. I’m just hoping I can keep it together when she officially starts school on Tuesday, especially since I won’t be able to be there to drop her off since I have early morning classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

All the best,